Santa Claus is coming to town! Now there was a promise that, as a child, was something I could bank on. I remember sitting on his knee as a young girl and the jolly old elf telling listening to my list, but also telling me that he would bring me some surprises. I realize now that this was an obligatory loop hole for the parents who had already spent half of the kid’s college fund and were decidedly done shopping, regardless of what the child tells Santa.
Well played, Nick.
There’s an old saying that nothing is certain in this life except death and taxes. (I would add rehashed political rhetoric this close to an election, but that’s beside the point…) In the world of verbal economy, words are cheap, and promises made are not the same as promises kept.
When you think of it, it’s not simply about the “who” of the promise (not just anyone can be Santa, you know), but more importantly, the “why”. Promising my kids a bunch of plastic junk that will make them happy for a few days is not the same as sacrificing to save for the aforementioned college education.
Makes me wonder if God might be thinking along the same lines:
“And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.”
My personal comfort and convenience are not what the Creator of the Universe has in the forefront of His magnificent mind. He is infinitely more concerned about my character and eternal safety.
- Yes, He gives me a bone-headed, terrifically lovable dog to embrace and become part of our family, and then gives me grace and strength when the dog grows old and dies, reassuring me that the day is coming when death will be no more.
- He allows me to enjoy His beautiful world of sunsets and children, but He also sends me His Holy Spirit empowering me to forgive those who insist on marring that beauty with terrorist bombs.
In other words, His promises are tools, not toys. This thought continues:
“In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises.”
One of my now-all-grown-up daughters lives in upstate New York. It gets C-O-L-D up there in the Catskills and she said she would like a nice warm bathrobe for Christmas. SooOOooo….I hauled out the old sewing machine, and made one from thick, soft holiday red fleece, lined with navy blue flannel. I’ll be so excited for her to open it!
But how sad I would be if she just left the unopened package under the tree, and chose to be cold instead. Hmmm…..
When God wraps up a promise with a bow on top, there’s only on correct response—open it and use it. There might even be some surprises inside.
2 Peter 1: 4, 5 Tyndale House Publishers Inc (2008-06-01). The One Year Bible NLT